117 pp. "'The Fool Spy' tells of a romance with history in with lover, B. O. Wolfe (Beowulf) is buried, and his apparent heroism converted into mockery, by the very means which serve to perpetuate heroism: hearsay and legend. The situation of John Kuehl's brilliant first novel is by no means new, but Kuehl--with rigorous extravagance and an intricate vocabulary of irony--sees the situation through to its vortex of uncertainty; rigging literary and ideological conventions against themselves and each other, using a mirror-gallery of narrative, second and third and fourth-hand accounts, tall stories; envisioning history, not as a synthesized whole, but as a crepuscular haze, which--thanks to Kuehl's precisely formal yet dexterous command of dialogue--takes place in an eternal present, with the future a void and the past a phantasmagoria. His irony, then, performs the one endlessly worthwhile function of irony: it urges unswallowable truth upon us, with a candor so straight and so intricate, that it can only be accepted as humor and paradox."
First printing. Signed by author with inscription and date. Address label on front endpaper, edges of pages toned. For Now Press, New York, 1967. 1st Printing. Very Good/Not Applicable. (Inventory #: 2193467)
Literature, American & Military History, General Antiquarian
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